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October 15, 2013

RockBLOCK and High-Altitude Balloons

It’s hard to explain why, but high-altitude ballooning is fascinating – and a little addictive. We’ve been following the antics of UK-based Andrew Ashe, who along with Mikal Hart (author of the fantastic IridiumSBD library for Arduino) has successfully tracked their balloon and been able to recover its payload thanks to RockBLOCK.

Their setup is based around an Arduino Teensy, with a RockBLOCK and GPS module attached, powered by 3 AAA lithium batteries.

As this was a test flight, the onboard camera was pretty low-spec, but nonetheless took some pretty impressive photos. The RockBLOCK provided tracking information back to base, so they could follow the flight and recover it afterwards.

Key Details

  • RockBLOCK Naked Unit
  • Arduino Teensy
  • GPS module
  • AAA battery holder
  • Three Energizer Lithium AAAs
  • Some Cameras
  • Their HAB

In Depth

Here you can watch an awesome little video showing the launch, and an animation of the track and recovery: